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Filipina domestic helper in Kuwait not only tortured but also sexually abused, says NBI autopsy report

January 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines - A total deployment ban is now imposed by the Philippine Government to Kuwait after an autopsy report revealed that the Filipina maid, Jeanelyn Villavende, was not only tortured but also sexually abused. The recommendation was made yesterday by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III who got mad at the Kuwaiti employers of Villavende, for not only turturing the Filipina domestic helper but also molesting her.  Secretary Bello got the information from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) who conducted autopsy of the remains of the victim. It was learned that the governing body of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has signed a resolution  to immediately effect a deployment ban to Kuwait. The autopsy report made by NBI also said that there were indications of healed old wounds from Jeanelyn's body, which also revealed the victim was battered several weeks prior to her untimely demise. SHATTERED DREAMS.  The dreams of a Filipina domestic helper, Jeanelyn Villavende, vanish as she went home in the Philippines inside a coffin. NBI autopsy report says Jeanelyn is not only tortured but she is also molested by her employer. - Photo credit to owner. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told reporters Jeanelyn was also sexually abused, citing autopsy report submitted by the National Bureau of Investigation. Guevarra told reporters “Sexual abuse and prior infliction of physical injury have been established.” It can be recalled that Jeanelyn Villavende, a Filipina domestic helper in Kuwait died on December 28, 2019, reportedly into the hands of her employer who was already arrested by Kuwaiti authorities.  Secretary Bello said he doubted the credibility of the death certificate made by Kuwaiti forensic doctors in Kuwait saying Villavende died of "physical injuries."   In view of the "false autopsy report," the labor secretary said he would recommend to POEA for a permanent deployment ban in Kuwait. He also also promised to the immediate families of the Filipina maid to deliver justice for Villavende as soon as possible. In February 2018, Joanna Denafelis, also a Filipina domestic helper in Kuwait has also died. She was also maltreated by her employers.   Meanwhile, Nasser Mustafa, Philippine Labor Attache to Kuwait said he is fully supporting the permanent deployment ban of Filipino workers in Kuwait, following the series of violations made by Kuwaiti employers in the Gulf state. Mustafa told reporters "Ang mensahe ko sa mga kakabayan natin sa Kuwait ay mahinahon sila dahil itong ginagawa ng ating gobyerno through DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) ay para sa kabutihan ng lahat. Di ito ginawa para tanggalan sila ng mga trabaho." 

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4ID Golden Founding Anniversary celebrations kick-off with Barrio PEACE-TA Opening

January 15, 2020

The peace-loving people of Cagayayan de Oro city joined the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division during the kick-off ceremony of its 50th Founding Anniversary with the opening of the “Barrio PEACE-TA sa Kampo 2020” earlier this morning January 15, 2020 at Headquarters 4ID, Patag, Cagayan de Oro City. The ceremony was attended by Hon. Oscar Moreno, City Mayor of Cagayan de Oro and currently the Northern Mindanao RPOC chairperson, MGen Franco Nemesio Gacal, Commander of 4ID, tourism officers headed by Dir. Marie Elaine Unchuan of DOT-X, MSAB members headed by the Vice-Chairperson Dir. Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño, NEDA-X, unit commanders, other officers, enlisted personnel, civilian employees, dependents and visitors who came to the opening of the Barrio PEACE-TA. Mayor Moreno said, “I am honored and happy to be here to witness the result of the convergence of the military and the civilian sector. This is essential in our pursuit of peace and development for there’s no team military and team civilian; we are all members of one team with one goal, PEACE.” Barrio PEACE-TA is a three-week open-street merriment from January 15 to February 5, 2020 which is open from 8:00 o'clock in the morning to 10:00 o’clock in the evening where all soldiers, dependents, partner stakeholders and other civilians can enjoy, relax and take part in the celebration of the Golden Anniversary of 4ID. MGen Gacal also said, “The Barrio PEACE-TA sa Kampo 2020 is a way of giving back to our partner stakeholders and local communities for their continued support and trust to 4ID. It is a one-stop-venue with booths of 4ID units promoting the local products and tourist destinations of Northern Mindanao and Caraga Region in coordination with the local tourism office." "The 4ID invites everyone to join us as we celebrate our Golden Founding Anniversary. You will be able to have fun together with our troops, you will be able to experience and reminisce 'bayle' and you will see and buy the different local products within our area,” Gacal added The 4ID Barrio PEACE-TA has numerous “tiangge” booths manned by dependents and civilian stakeholders with various products and food for sale.  Also, every night there will be a “Night Café” with live band from 6:00 o’clock to 10:00 o’clock in the evening to entertain the soldiers, dependents and civilian visitors. One of the highlights of the Barrio PEACE-TA is the “baylehan” or benefit dance every Saturdays, to enliven and add color to the fiesta celebration.

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Story of a drunk passenger bound for Malaybalay, who sleeps inside the bus and wakes up in Cagayan de Oro, gone viral

January 14, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - This is a lesson learned that if you're drunk and you travel by bus to reach your destination, don't forget to tell the driver or bus conductor in advance that you will disembark in your place of destination. You tell the driver exactly where your destination is, or else you will end up reaching another place far from your own destination. This happened to a netizen John Jhumir Adarlo who took a bus ride and his destination was only Malaybalay City. But since he was drunk and he fell asleep, he ended up reaching Agora Bus Terminal in Cagayan de Oro City. Adarlo narrated in his Facebook account that he was supposedly bound for Malaybalay City from Valencia City. But because he was drunk, he fell asleep while in the bus. "Hubog kaayo ko. Gipukaw ko ni Kuya konduktor. "Sir sir abot nata sir" Pagtan-aw nako sa bintana hala familiar ang place," was his only words as he was kind of shock that he reached Cagayan de Oro bus terminal. Luckily, he was not anymore collected for the balance of P35 for his fare for Valencia City to Cagayan de Oro. He was only told to talk to the bus company's accounting and narrate his seemingly bad experience. It's no longer "Don't drive when your drunk," BUT its already "Don't ride a bus when your drunk."  So, this unforgettable experience of Mr Adarlo now went viral on Facebook, with over 4000 shares and over 10,000 likes.  

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Groups hail impending re-export of Sokor waste as victory for environmental justice

January 14, 2020

THE impending re-exportation of illegal waste shipments from South Korea, described by the authorities as “misdeclared, heterogenous and injurious to public health,” has been welcomed by green groups who say it will help in rectifying the environmental injustice committed against Mindanao and the entire Filipino nation. Davao City-based Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) and Quezon City-based EcoWaste Coalition hailed the planned repatriation of over 5,000 tons of South Korean waste stranded since July 2018 at the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental as confirmed by customs authorities. Through a text message received by the EcoWaste Coalition from Port Collector John Simon of the Bureau of Customs- Region 10, the authorities announced that 60 container vans of illegal waste imports by Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation will be returned to South Korea on January 19 and the rest on February 9 with vessels from Maersk International Shipping Lines as the official carrier. /ecowastecoalition.org “The long wait will soon be over.  In line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive banning waste imports and in cooperation with the South Korean government, we are shipping back the remaining wastes to their origin on January 19 and February 9.  The re-exportation of the misdeclared plastic wastes to where they come from should send a clear signal to all parties that our beloved country is not a global dump and that waste traffickers will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Simon said. “This is good news for the people of Mindanao as we assert our unwillingness to be an entry point of hazardous waste from overseas.  The re-shipment of the South Korean waste to its source is a historic win for our people and the environment,” said Chinkie Peliño-Golle, Executive Director, IDIS, adding that “this is only a partial victory as the culprits behind this toxic mess have yet to account for their misdeeds.” “The complete removal of the remaining South Korean waste in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, the clean-up of the storage site and the prosecution of the offenders will help in correcting the grave environmental injustice inflicted on Mindanaoans in particular and Filipino people in general,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition. “We commend Port Collector Simon and his team, as well as other customs, environmental and local government officials in the region, for taking a brave and solid position against foreign waste dumping and for finding ways to overcome logistical challenges, especially with the complicated repacking of the bulk waste,” she said. It will be recalled that illegal waste shipments from South Korea, falsely declared as “plastic synthetic flakes,” with a total combined weight of 6,500 tons arrived at the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) in July and October 2018. BOC-10 issued three warrants of seizure and detention against the illegal waste cargoes followed by a re-exportation order citing violations of DENR Administrative Order 2013-22 and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. Following the agreement reached by the governments of the Philippines and South Korea in December 2018, some 1,400 tons of illegal waste shipments were sent back to South Korea on January 13, 2019, which was witnessed by representatives from the EcoWaste Coalition, Greenpeace, IDIS and other civil society groups from Davao City. The repatriation of the remaining wastes from South Korean was delayed due to financial and logistical issues related to their re-bagging and transfer from the PHIVIDEC site to the MICT. Meanwhile, the EcoWaste Coalition pressed the national government to speed up its ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment, which entered into force on December 5 last year, and to adopt a full ban on foreign waste importation to protect the country from illegal waste traffic. The Basel Ban Amendment prohibits the export of hazardous wastes for all reasons, including recycling, from rich countries belonging to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), European Union (EU) and Liechtenstein to developing countries like the Philippines. “Ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment and further prohibiting the export of all wastes to the Philippines will be our best legal protection against waste trafficking,” the EcoWaste Coalition insisted.

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NPA surrenderees in Surigao Sur reveal arm cache hidden in Mt Gacob

January 14, 2020

SAN AGUSTIN, Surigao del Sur – The joint elements of the 9th Special Forces “Hounds” Company under the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn) and the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) of Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) seized an NPA arms cache on January 10 at Mt. Gacob, Sitio Magkahunaw, Barangay Buhisan, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur. Recovered were two caliber 30 Garand rifles, and assorted ammunitions and explosives. This is a result from the follow-up interviews of the two rebel surrenderees (@John and @Dave) who revealed the location of the arms cache. “The declaration of persona non-grata to the members of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) by Surigao del Sur province and the institutionalization of the Local Task Forces to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (LTF-ELCAC) of the Province down to its municipalities play a role on the influx of rebel surrenderees in Surigao Sur, “Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan INF (GSC) PA, 3SFBn Commanding Officer, said. During the  Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) Meeting last January 6 presided by Governor Alexander T. Pimentel, the council observed the significant decrease of NPA violent and non-violent activities in Surigao Sur. Further, participation among people in demonstrations organized by anti-government militant groups allegedly linked to CNTs significantly decreased. Colonel Allan D Hambala INF (MNSA) PA, 401st (Unite and Fight) Infantry Brigade Commander lauds the Provincial Government of Surigao Del Sur for its steadfast support to end insurgency through the plans and programs under Executive Order No. 70 of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. In the whole region of CARAGA, the province of Surigao del Sur was the first to declare CNTs unwelcome. Meanwhile, the Army and the Task Forces to End Local Communist Armed Conflict continuously call on the remaining CNTs to abandon armed struggle and avail of the Enhanced Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) for rebel surrenderees.  

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Yam Concepcion stars in 'Night Shift' horror movie

January 14, 2020

Writer/director Yam Laranas and actress Yam Concepcion work together for the first time in “Night Shift”, Viva Films’ first horror presentation in cooperation with Alliud Entertainment for the year 2020. Set in a hospital morgue, the movie revolves around a pathologist’s assistant named Jessie who’s working on a straight shift one stormy night.  She doesn’t believe in the afterlife, but she is suddenly creeped out by the strange sounds that seem to be coming from the cadavers.  She cannot shake off the feeling that they seem to be coming back to life.  As her fear intensifies, Jessie begins to ponder on the idea of the Final Judgment.  And if indeed the day has come that people rise from the dead, she is tormented about meeting her own end.   Yam Laranas has been praised for his previous horror movies, such as “Aurora” (2018), “The Road” (2011), and “Sigaw” (2004), for which he won a Special Award at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film (BIFFF).   In an interview conducted by thewrap.com on how to make a horror movie, Laranas said, “I want to see what’s real out there and I translate them into (a) real scary (story) because that has a connection to a lot of people…It becomes relatable.  And when you translate that into something horrifying, it touches people’s fears, nightmares and skeletons in their closet.” He also added that “location is another character in a horror film.  It is where fear and paranoia are created.”  This statement is well depicted in the movie trailer where Yam Concepcion is seen all alone in cold hallways with flickering lights, a room with rows of beds with cadavers, Yam running from what appears to be a group of zombies, and more.   The director also points out the importance of music in elevating the fear and enhancing the mood of the horror movie.  That’s why he has teamed up once again with the award-winning gentlemen (Oscar Fogelström and Albert Michael Idioma) that created the music and sound for “Aurora”.  “I am impressed how efficient every single one is in the team,” wrote Yam Concepcion in one of her Instagram posts that shows her in the set of their movie.  She commends director Yam Laranas for being a good leader that runs the whole production.  She further wrote, “So lucky to be part of this movie project and to be working with all of you.”   .   This is Yam’s first lead role in a horror movie.  She was very convincing as a villain in the drama series   “Halik” on ABS-CBN, it’s about time she shows us her acting prowess in the horror genre, especially with the big twist that the movie has in store.   “Night Shift” opens in cinemas on January 22, 2020.  

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